Thursday, November 02, 2006

Feliz Dia de Los Muertos

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My friend Simon appeared with me two years ago at a store signing. I was actually signing on Halloween, and we gave out candy to all the kids who showed up for Trick-or-Treating! Simon actually shows up as an extra in the El Muerto movie (not in costume, of course!). The suit he's wearing was made from one bought at Olvera Street here in L.A. Yes, just like Diego de La Muerte did in the comic.

Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico on November 2. People gather at the gravesite of their loved ones and decorate it with flowers and mementos that commemorate the departed. Food and drink are put out so that the spirits of the deceased will come back for another meal. Altars are built in the homes with the same effect. It's origins date back to pre-Columbian times, with the ancient Aztec ceremonies blended with All Soul's Day, creating a uniquely Mexican holiday. It's a festival meant to celebrate the life while mocking death, a testimonial to the power of love and remembrance. No sinister motives are involved in the festival.

When I sat down and came up with El Muerto, I knew I wanted to capture the spirit of the holiday. A character that would not only be created around the imagery and folklore of Dia de Los Muertos, but one that would also use the rich mythology of the Aztecs. It's nice to be able to particate in Day of the Dead ceremonies, and equally cool to celebrate the character's 'birthday'.

Take a moment to remember the life of a family member, or friend, or any other person you admire, who is no longer with you. Remember what it was about them that you loved, and enjoy their memory. They'll appreciate it, I'm sure...

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